Denver International Airport

Travel Tidbits from Denver and Los Angeles airports

Ending the week with some travel tidbits from airports for you.

Were you hoping that Norbert the Turtle really was joining the pet therapy program at Denver International Airport? That turned out to be an April Fool’s Day joke, but DEN did add their 101st member to their team.

Not a joke was the announcement that Los Angeles International Airport had installed Tooshlights in one set of bathrooms in the American Airlines Terminal 4 to guide lav users – via overhead red and green lights – to stalls that are open.

LAX also announced that $4.9 billion contract had been approved by the Los World Airports (LAWA) Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Automated People Mover (APM) system at the airport.

The system promises driverless trains that will arrive at every station every two minutes, and light-filled stations with escalators, elevators, and moving walkways. Bonus amenities include a viewing platform of the iconic Theme Building.

When will we be able to take the train to LAX? Sometime in 2023.

Goat yoga at Denver International Airport

Airports around the country are bringing out the big guns (in most cases, Santa and his elves) to help entertain travelers during this busy and often stressful travel week.  But Denver International Airport will likley win “Airport Amenity of the Week” for the highly entertaining and stress-busting goat yoga session it offered passengers.

Take a look:

For the next few months you’ll find a goat-free, pop-up yoga studio at Denver International Airport where a smal fee gets you a private space and instructional videos.

There are also free yoga studo spaces at San Francisco International Airport, Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Miami International Airport and several others.

 

 

 

 

Free ice-skating at Denver International Airport

Here’s a contender for Airport Amenity of the Week:

Free ice-skating (with complimentary ice-skate rental) is back at Denver International Airport from November 24 through January 7, 2018.

The 38-by-60-foot rink (which will be bigger than last year’s rink) will be  located in the pre-security area DEN Plaza and will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with holiday decorations, a lounge, storage cubbies and a wide variety of entertainment and family-friendly music playing in the background.

 

Denver Int’l Airport getting a pop-up yoga studio

Although bars and restaurants will beckon, travelers at an increasing number of airports have  plenty of places to stretch and work out.

Baltimore-Washington International Airport has an airport gym, Phoenix Sky Harbor International and many other airports offer marked walking paths, and San Francisco International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports and others have free-to-use spaces set aside, with loaner mats, for yoga.

Now Denver International Airport gets its chance.

Courtesy Yoga on the Fly

For 90-days, starting November 6, Denver International Airport will have a pop-up guided yoga studio on Concourse A where travelers can pay to use private mini-studios for yoga sessions lasting from 15 to 60 minutes.

With each rental, Yoga on the Fly will provide instructional videos, yoga mats and wireless headsets. Sessions will costs $15 for 15 minutes, $20 for 20 minutes, $30 for 30 minutes, $45 for 45 minutes and $60 for 60 minutes. Each studio with have a ‘beauty bar’ with cleansing towels, face mist, hand sanitizer and lotion where customers can freshen up after their session and there will be a retail section at reception offering travel accessories.

If this first Yoga on the Fly pop-up is successful over this holiday season, company founders hope to make it a permanent amenity at Denver International Airport and other airports.

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An overnight ‘ride-along’ with United Airlines

My overnight ‘ride-along’ last week with United Airlines at Denver International Airport was exhausting – but exhilarating and extremely educational.

I’m working on a full-length slide show (so far, I’ve got 60 photo keepers) and report for my next At the Airport column on USA TODAY,  but sharing a few snaps today here on StuckatTheAirport.com to get the ball rolling.

At around 10 pm, my tour started at United’s Station Operations Center – a darkened room where about 50 people were seated in clusters at desks with multiple computer screens doing everything from making sure passengers made their connections to monitoring weather and  gate assignments.

Then it was off to the maintenance hangar, where 8 airplanes were undergoing service checks and repairs, included an engine swap for an Airbus 319.

 

While in the hangar, another airplane was visited by a fast-moving cleaning crew, who were doing everything from cleaning the lavs and galley (with different rags and cleaning solutions) to making sure seat back literature was refreshed and the tray tables were washed.

 

At 3 am it was back to the Station Operations Center, which was pretty much empty, except for Zone Controller Mike Lowrey, who I’d met earlier in the evening. He was checking with maintenance to see if all the planes they’d been working on overnight were ready for morning flights and doing what he could to make sure the first flights of the day would leave on time.

 

3:47 a.m. : A quick look in the concourse to see if anything was happening. Nothing. Yet.

The Flight Operations Center opens at 6 a.m.  That where captains and first officers such as Michael Daigneault can pick up supplies and plan for their flights.

My flight back to Seattle left, on time, at 8:08 a.m. I even got a set of plastic wings from the crew.

My full report on my overnight ride-along with United Airlines at Denver International Airport will show up during the week on USA TODAY.